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The Church of England and the Expansion of the Settler Empire, c. 1790–1860

When members of that oft-maligned institution, the Anglican Church – the 'Tory Party at prayer' – encountered the far-flung settler empire, they found it a strange and intimidating place. Anglicanism's conservative credentials seemed to have little place in developing colonies; its established status, secure in England, would crumble in Ireland and was destined never to be adopted in the 'White Dominions'. By 1850, however, a global ‘Anglican Communion’ was taking shape. This book explains why Anglican clergymen started to feel at home in the empire. Between 1790 and 1860 the Church of England put in place structures that enabled it to sustain a common institutional structure and common set of beliefs across a rapidly-expanding ‘British world’. Though Church expansion was far from being a regulated and coordinated affair, the book argues that churchmen did find ways to accommodate Anglicans of different ethnic backgrounds and party attachments in a single broad-based ‘national’ colonial Church. The book details the array of institutions, voluntary societies and inter-colonial networks that furnished the men and money that facilitated Church expansion; it also sheds light on how this institutional context contributed to the formation of colonial Churches with distinctive features and identities. The colonial Church that is presented in this book will be of interest to more than just scholars and students of religious and Church history. The book shows how the colonial Church played a vital role in the formation of political publics and ethnic communities in a settler empire that was being remoulded by the advent of mass migration, democracy and the separation of Church and state.

appointed resident clergy. But in 1860 many Upper Canadian churchgoers had still not embraced the kind of rigid denominational identities that we associate with modern religion. 12 Methodists and Presbyterians can be found among the pew holders of the church at Fredericksburg near Kingston in 1859, while a Presbyterian and a Wesleyan sat on the vestry at nearby Bath in 1861. 13 Clergy at the Cape

in An Anglican British World
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The Church of England, migration and the British world

journey towards voluntarism required churchmen to revisit old questions about the role and identity of the Church, as well as the question of how denominational loyalty could be maintained in an institution where voluntary organisations – whether they were missionary societies or individual churches – held sway. 14 In short, the journey towards voluntary status generated a set of contests and tensions within the

in An Anglican British World
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driven by raw self-interest or philanthropy, the shape of empire was contested and contingent. Would the possibilities for Jones’s communal vision have germinated under David Scott’s regime? The relationships that flourished in the hills could be mutualistic – Lister and Inglis derived joint benefit from their official and blood partnership, increasing the strength of each other’s survival; they could be

in Welsh missionaries and British imperialism

gradually losing its establishment status tried to reassert its authority in colonial society. 5 Second, associations provide a rare and valuable opportunity to explore the Church’s relationship with ethnic and national identities in the colonial context. Most scholars of the settler churches have portrayed the British-born clergy as helping to export Britishness and old-world identities overseas, but few have

in An Anglican British World
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in its orientation to its part-Christian tribal populations with their distinctive cultural and linguistic identities. To some Indians, the inhabitants of the north-east are still characterised as uncivilised tribals in an India that promotes itself as a modernising economy. Non-Khasi Indian scholars and writers are routinely condescending, and representations of Khasi society can draw on outmoded

in Welsh missionaries and British imperialism

the focus of missionary work in America’s Episcopal Church since at least the mid-1830s. 1 In Britain, Tractarianism helped Anglicans gain a clearer sense of the role, responsibilities and significance of the bishop. Political shifts – notably the gradual erosion of the old idea of a privileged establishment – also focused attention on the centrality of episcopacy for Anglican identity. For many Anglicans it

in An Anglican British World

, improving the pay and conditions of overseas clergy (for example, by giving new appointments glebe land), tightening the Church’s grip over education and recruiting better-qualified clergymen. Attempts were also made to strengthen ecclesiastical authority and build a disciplined Church that was based on a clearly defined Anglican identity and strict conformity with Anglican liturgy. In New South Wales in

in An Anglican British World

. Churchmen also struggled to keep metropolitan audiences informed about the progress of the colonial Church. Though high church Anglicans would adopt the kind of missionary publicity methods pioneered by evangelicals and nonconformists, the dissemination of information was, like so much in colonial Anglicanism, contested: commentators recognised that the information fed to metropolitan communities on the status of

in An Anglican British World

and character of the Welsh mission, as well as the ‘slippages of meaning’, 1 the ways in which such processes were contested, co-opted or reworked by indigenous agency and resistance. As Ryan Dunch suggests, despite the monolithic paternalism of the Christian mission, the experience of particular missionaries and their ability to negotiate cultural difference was very much

in Welsh missionaries and British imperialism